Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Multilevel Methods, Theory, and Analysis
S. V. Subramanian
The term multilevel relates to the levels of analysis in public health research, which usually, but not always, consist of individuals (at lower level) who are nested within spatial units (at higher levels). Multilevel methods, meanwhile, consist of quantitative procedures that are pertinent when (a) the observations that are being analyzed are correlated; (b) the causal processes are thought to operate at more than one level; and/or (c) the research interest is especially in describing the variability and heterogeneity in the population, rather than average values. Multilevel methods are specifically geared toward the statistical analysis of data that have a nested structure. The nesting, typically, but not always, is hierarchical. For instance, a two-level structure would have many level-1 units nested within a smaller number of level-2 units. For instance, in educational research—the field that provided the impetus for multilevel methods—level-1 usually consists of pupils who are nested within The ...